Germany's most populous state plans discounted €49 ticket

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Germany's most populous state plans discounted €49 ticket
A woman walks up the escalator at Cologne Hauptbahnhof. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Roberto Pfeil

Germany's most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia is considering introducing a cheaper version of the monthly €49 ticket which will be rolled out nationwide on May 1st - and is currently offering a number of special "add-ons".


Speaking at a press conference days before the much-anticipated ticket goes on sale nationwide on April 3rd, North Rhine-Westphalian Transport Minister Oliver Krischer of the Greens said that an exact discount had not yet been decided.

It's possible, however, that the northwestern state could follow the lead of central Hesse, where the monthly ticket will cost lower-income earners €31. Anyone who receives social benefits such as Bürgergeld (citizen’s income), Sozialgeld or Wohngeld (housing supplement) is set to qualify.

"Mobility must become easier and better for everyone and, above all, remain affordable," said Krischer, who met with Germany’s federal transport ministers.


The €49 ticket, also dubbed the Deutschlandticket, will be able to be used on local and regional transport throughout Germany starting May 1st.

The follow-up to last summer’s popular €9 ticket, it is set to be valid for all second-class rides on buses, trams and underground trains (U-Bahns) as well as on suburban trains (S-Bahns), regional trains and regional express trains - but not on ICEs and other long-distance trains.

It will be possible to book the ticket online or on an app through a subscription which can be cancelled on a monthly basis. 

READ ALSO: What to know about Germany's new €49 ticket app

Special student offer

Students should be among the groups to benefit from the €49 ticket - without having to pay twice for it on top of their regional, heavily-discounted Semesterticket - said Krischner. 

For them, a "bookable upgrade solution to the semester ticket" is initially planned - regardless of the state they live in. They will be able to pay the difference in the €49 fare and can then travel throughout Germany. 

Students in North Rhine-Westphalia are also likely to receive a discounted fare - a move several other states are also mulling over - although an exact price hadn't been announced yet, said Kirschner.  

Germany's Student Union is also pushing for all students to have access to a discounted ticket.

Special add-ons

But North Rhine-Westphalia does have a few concrete offerings up its sleeve which it will roll out as of July 1st.

A first class "supplementary ticket" will be offered for €69 per month, bringing the total fare to €118. A monthly bicycle subscription would also up the fare by €39. 

The add-on tickets offered in NRW will be available as a monthly subscription that can be cancelled at any point, just like the Deutschlandticket itself. 

Germany's transport ministers have said they want to roll out these special offers nationwide - from extra fares for first class travel to bicycles nationwide - and are pushing for the core price of the Deutschlandticket to stay €49 for its first two years.

READ ALSO: State by state: Who will get a discount on Germany's €49 transport ticket?


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